Quite frankly (sorry), we as Americans love football because it’s violent.
We love to see helmets fly off, the pigskin pop out of unsuspecting ball carriers’ hands, Rex Grossman get licked by Shaun Phillips.
It’s why we tune in.
But we have it good. We sit on our couches, drink our ale, eat our chips and watch. On TV.
Someone is taking that hit we cheer for. And although he may be a huge, muscle-clad athlete, it still hurts. And it’s still dangerous. And sometimes, fans would do anything not to see the hits on the field.
And yesterday, on opening Sunday no less, there was one of those moments fans pray NOT to see. Buffalo Bills defender Kevin Everett made a tackle on special teams, a head to shoulder tackle that didn’t look any different than every other play in a dozen different games Sunday.
But, it ended differently. Everett left the field on a stretcher, was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery on his spine. Doctors said yesterday it is unlikely he will ever fully recovered. Meaning, he’s probably not going to walk ever again.
And just like that, one of those pixelated, distant figures on the tube is gone. I’m not trying to go all Grey’s Anatomy on you, but he’s done. His football career for sure, any sense of normalcy, most likely.
So, this is where Roger Goodell can step up and show he is one hell of a commissioner. Yea, we’ve seen him punish everyone who’s blown into a Breathalyzer this offseason, but now he can do something good.
Call Everett, Mr. Goodell, or better yet, go to his hospital room. Sit by his side and let him know that whatever mountain of medical expenses awaits him, the NFL has it covered.
Cut through all the bureaucratic bs of the Players Union arguing with the league’s attorney’s, just make it right.
Let him know that you realize even though your game giveth certain players the lives of which they’ve always fantasized, it can take it all away, quicker than one of those vicious hits we see every Sunday.